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Tax Tech: e-File Your Tax Return on Your Smartphone

By (view all posts by snarkydeals)
at 7:56AM Thursday February 10, 2011
under Product Review

I know it may be a bit early, but it really is getting to be that time of year again--when we all sit down with our mountain of forms, receipts, student loan documents, calculators, deductions, bank forms, our uncle Joe who knows how to finagle the numbers, and everything else we are required to input for taxes. I can just feel the excitement buzzing in the air, the anticipation of this wonderful time of year.

Oh, you don't like doing your taxes? You think they're complicated? Well, maybe a tax tech app called TurboTax SnapTax for your iPhone or Android smartphone can help!
Yep, that's right:  "There's an app for that" applies to doing your taxes now. Having already completed mine (first time in five years I'm getting money back!), I couldn't do my taxes this way. However, I set up a dummy account to try this cool new app out for my review, both from my iPod Touch 4G to my Android smartphone.

TurboTax SnapTax is a free app that runs on Android OS 2.1 or iOS 4.1 or higher and runs off the very cool idea that you can just take a picture of your W-2 and let the software do the rest.

Just snap a pic of your W-2 (or enter manually if you don't have a camera), answer the usual questions on income for any fields that didn't automatically get entered, and then review, pay, and e-File with the same security measures as TurboTax's online system. e-Filing is not free, but it's only $14.99 for Federal and State filing, which is around the norm for similar online tax services.

What's the downside? Unfortunately, SnapTax currently only works with the 1040EZ form, which is great for a lot of us but not so great for others.

Here are the other income requirements to use SnapTax:
  • You must have made $80,000 or less in 2010 (or $100,000 if you're married)
  • Your income must comprise solely of W-2s, interest or unemployment
  • You must not list any dependents
  • You must not have home or real estate ownership

Not ready to do your taxes just yet? That's okay. Try Tax Central from H&R Block. This is more of a tax estimator than anything else, but it's nice to have for any extra questions you may have when filling out your tax forms. It includes a tax return estimator, glossary of terms, and a nice assortment of FAQs, as well as how to find H&R Blocks near you and more. Since it's free for Android and Apple users, it can't hurt to have it on standby.

How will you do your taxes this year? Will you do them yourself via mail, tax services, the IRS website, tax software, or apps?